After hiatus, Twinkies return to Columbia stores

Monday, July 15, 2013 | 6:49 p.m. CDT; updated 11:38 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 16, 2013

COLUMBIA — Morgan Read can still recall the first Twinkie he ever ate at a gas station when he was really young after his dad told him, "You need to try this."

Read learned about the yellow cakes' return on iFunny, a social media application, and was happy they were back, he said Sunday while shopping with his mother.

The original Twinkies made their return to Columbia on Saturday under an exclusive early release Hostess made with Walmart stores.

Only a few boxes of Twinkies were missing from the display in Walmart on Grindstone Parkway on Saturday night, but by Sunday only six remained.

By Monday, Twinkies and Hostess snacks CupCakes and Donettes were available at other stores. Hy-Vee on Conley Road and East Nifong Boulevard as well as Schnucks all reported having Twinkies in stock.

The beloved snacks' disappearance was certainly noticed by the Read family.

"I had at least two a week when I got off work," he said about his eating habits before Twinkies went off the market. He tried substitutes, but they weren't the same.

Read's mother, Debbie Read, said she is more of a chocolate fan, and was excited the Twinkie isn't the only cake making a comeback.

"I remember the last Hostess CupCakes. We split it because it was the last one," she said Sunday as she and her son bought a box each of Twinkies and CupCakes.

For other shoppers, "The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever" is not a big deal.

"I don't really like them," Andrew Fill said when he passed by the Twinkies' display case Sunday night. "There's better quality things out there."

Later this week, Walmart Wal-Mart says its stores will also have Hostess Mini Muffins and fried Fruit Pies, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Veronica Marshall said. Coffee Cakes, Ho Hos, Orange CupCakes, Suzy Qs and Zingers will be available by August.

Sno-Balls will arrive in the fall.

Hostess went bankrupt late last year after years of management turmoil and a standoff with its second-biggest union. The company sold off its various brands, with Twinkies and other Hostess cakes going to private equity firms Metroupoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management, which are known for fixing up ailing brands,then selling them off for a profit.

Marshall declined to say how Hostess cake sales were performing at Walmart stores before the bankruptcy. The retailer also sells Little Debbie cakes, which are made by McKee Foods Corp., and Tastykake, which is made by Flowers Foods. Walmart also sells store-brand versions of the cakes.

Those people really hard pressed for a Twinkie fix can search for other places to buy the cakes on Hostess's Snack Spotting Map.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Supervising editor is John Schneller.

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